Category Archives: Patient stories

Wisconsin boy overcomes tumor inside heart

Doctors discovered a tumor inside the heart of Cole Eckes, 4, of Hayward, Wis., when he was an infant. (Photos courtesy of Kylah Eckes)

Doctors discovered a tumor inside the heart of Cole Eckes, 4, of Hayward, Wis., when he was an infant. (Photos courtesy of Kylah Eckes)

Kylah Eckes

Three-year-old Tara was excited to become a big sister. Cole was perfect when he was born; he had beautiful skin, bright eyes, and long fingers and toes.

He was perfect.

Little did we know, there was something imperfect about our baby boy.

When Cole was 12 weeks old, he had a funky cough, so I brought him to Essentia Health-Hayward (Wis.) Clinic to see our family physician. After reviewing the symptoms, our doctor ordered a chest X-ray to determine the problem. Of course, I cringed at the thought of my baby having pneumonia. Cole also had mild pectus excavatum — a sunken-in chest — so an X-ray would help monitor, too.

As I left the clinic, I told the receptionist that I was worried about pneumonia. In hindsight, we would have given anything for the diagnosis to have been pneumonia.

We spent most of the next 12 days at Children’s – Minneapolis, meeting people with titles we didn’t know existed. We waited for an official diagnosis and to meet someone who knew what to do. Cole underwent all kinds of tests, imaging and exams. Ultimately, the diagnosis was cardiac fibroma, a rare tumor of the heart. One day during morning rounds, we heard one of the cardiologists tell the other specialists that the main potential side effect of the mass is “sudden death.” Those words still ring loudly in my ear. Cole is only the 21st living case of this type of tumor, so there wasn’t much data to help lead the specialists. The surgeons didn’t want to perform surgery to remove the mass because of its large size — same size as his heart — and location — inside the back wall of the left ventricle. Surgery was too risky, and the tumor wasn’t impeding on the functions of the heart, so we just had to “keep an eye on it.”

Cole had surgery Feb. 8, 2011.

Cole had heart surgery Feb. 8, 2011.

At Children’s – Minneapolis, my husband, Zac, and I learned infant CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). We received two AEDs but were terrified to bring Cole home, an uncomfortable three hours away.

Over the next five months, every nap that lasted a bit longer than normal sent my mind racing; I was scared to go in and check on Cole. During that period, we gave Cole antiarrhythmic medication every six hours and saw his electrophysiologist, Dr. Chris Carter, regularly.

On Dec. 26, 2010, when Cole was 7 months old, he experienced ventricular fibrillation, a rapid heartbeat, at home. Zac administered CPR and used our AED to put Cole’s heart back into normal rhythm. Cole was flown to Children’s that night.

He went into v-fib, again, four days later.

“Dr. Blue, fourth floor, CVCC,” the voice over the intercom said.

That was a call for our son. The staff at Children’s seemed to come out of everywhere, flooding Cole’s room with the best team for which parents could ask. Zac and I stood in the hall as they worked on Cole for 55 minutes. One of the intensivists informed us that it was time for us to make a decision: ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), a type of life support; or end resuscitation. No one knew how Cole would respond to ECMO. There was no guarantee Cole would survive, and, if he did, everyone was unsure about the status of his cognitive functions. We couldn’t give up on him, so we chose ECMO.

For four days, Zac and I watched the staff care for Cole. All we could do was kiss his cold forehead and hold his cold little hand. Cole slowly was weaned off of ECMO, although it was discovered that he suffered numerous strokes and bleeding in the brain.

It was obvious that something needed to be done about the tumor. Surgery was scheduled for Feb. 8, 2011, Tara’s fourth birthday.

Life was an absolute roller coaster, but one thing remained constant: the care Cole received from the staff at Children’s. These people became like family to us. We trusted them to care for our son, and they did so with evident care and dedication. They were with us for the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. They stood by our sides when we looked at Cole lying in his hospital bed. We truly felt Cole was in the best hands when we went to the Ronald McDonald House, one floor below Cole’s bed, every morning for breakfast. This is where we spent time with Tara when she came to visit us with other family members.

I remember numerous conversations with doctors that put my mind at ease. I sat for nearly two hours on Cole’s couch, talking to one of the intensivists. She was able to help me understand what was happening.

Kylah and Zac Eckes with children Cole and Tara

Kylah and Zac Eckes with children Cole and Tara

On the morning of Cole’s surgery, we said goodbye to him because no one knew if he would survive surgery. Would his heart be able to function without the tumor? A large group of family members sat with us in the waiting room for eight hours. We received periodic updates from staff we had gotten to know well.

Dr. David Overman walked down the hall a little past 6 p.m. to deliver the most amazing news we could have heard: Cole made it through surgery. Not only did he survive, but he didn’t need the help of ECMO, which was a possibility had he made it through surgery.

Although surgery was over and the tumor removal was successfully, Cole wasn’t out of the woods. The next 12 hours were critical. Nurses spent the night stripping Cole’s tubes to make sure there were no blood clots; their dedication was remarkable. They weren’t just doing their jobs; they were helping a baby they cared about.

We were on our way home 10 days later. Walking out of the doors to the cardiovascular care center was bittersweet. We said goodbye to people who came to mean a great deal to us and thanked them over and over for all of the amazing things they did for Cole and our family even though “thank you” wasn’t nearly big enough to show our appreciation.

Today, Cole is 4 and in preschool, getting ready for kindergarten in the fall. He continues to beat the odds. He has fun playing with Tara and his little sister, Ayda. He loves to golf and is looking forward to start logrolling this summer. He still has an internal cardiac defibrillator (ICD) that was placed during the early part of his stay at Children’s. The ICD continuously monitors his heart rhythms and would deliver a shock if his heart were to have another episode, but we’re hopeful and optimistic that Cole will never need that type of intervention again.

Cole

From left: Siblings Tara, Ayda and Cole Eckes

subscribe_blogTara, now 8, participates in Jump Rope For Heart at her school. The annual event raises money for the American Heart Association. She raised more than $2,500 at last year’s event. She tells people about the importance of helping others and paying it forward because so many people helped us when we needed it. Her dedication to helping others landed her on the cover of Time For Kids magazine.

Cole sees his team at Children’s Heart Clinic every six months for checkups. We look forward to these visits to hear good news and to show everyone how far Cole has come. We repeatedly have heard from various staff members that Cole is a reminder to them of why they do what they do.

Holy Angels athlete refuses to let ulcerative colitis knock him down

Scott Lohan, 17, a junior at Academy of Holy Angels, returned to the ice in November after battling ulcerative colitis. (Photos courtesy of the Lohan family)

Scott Lohan, 17, a junior at Academy of Holy Angels, returned to the ice in November after battling ulcerative colitis. (Photos courtesy of the Lohan family)

Brady Gervais

“Fall down seven times. Get up eight.”

Kids are resilient. Scott Lohan is proof.

For the past year and a half, he has been in and out of the hospital and endured lengthy procedures because of ulcerative colitis, a chronic illness in which the lining of the colon becomes ulcerated and inflamed. The combination of inflammation and ulceration causes stomach pain and frequent emptying of the colon.

It’s really painful and, for an active teenager, can be embarrassing. But it hasn’t stopped Scott, 17, from living fully.

“This experience has left me a more appreciative, stronger person,” Scott said. “Day-to-day activities are seen as a gift instead of just a task.”

He was a typical teenager on the honor roll, active in sports, and social when his health went into the toilet. The summer before his sophomore year, he slept all the time. That was the first sign something was off. While sleeping throughout summer break might be normal for some teenagers, it wasn’t for Scott.

Scott began the 2013 varsity football season as a starter for the Stars but wasn't playing much by the end of fall.

Scott began the 2013 varsity football season as a starter for the Stars but wasn’t playing much by the end of fall.

When varsity football began that fall at Academy of Holy Angels, Scott was a starter. Sixty days later, he was barely playing.

But his parents weren’t worried something was seriously wrong until Scott told his mom, Leslie, that he had blood in his stool.

“Mom, is this normal?” he said.

No way, his mom said.

His parents took him to the emergency department at Children’s – St. Paul, where he had a colonoscopy and endoscopy despite normal blood-test results.

He left four days later with an initial diagnosis of ulcerative proctitis – inflammation of the rectum. Despite being on medication for the following six weeks, Scott continued having diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue and bleeding. His care team at Minnesota Gastroenterology urged him to come back to Children’s, where he was admitted again.

subscribe_blogBecause of the bleeding, he was put on Remicade, a chemotherapy treatment that helps treat ulcerative colitis, the diagnosis he ultimately received, and other diseases. He also was prescribed steroids for another six weeks.

Scott’s parents were devastated by the diagnosis, worried their active child may never return to his “normal” life again. But Scott reassured his parents, “I guess I have to just keep grinding!”

He doesn’t lose well, his parents said.

The drugs worked for a few days. Scott went home for Christmas, but he continued to lose weight and experience severe pain. That didn’t stop him from playing hockey, though. A dedicated and determined athlete, he traveled with his parents to and from games so he could sleep. Scott would tell his parents that his medicine was working just so he could play. He wanted a normal life regardless of the disease.

In January, Scott landed back at Children’s. He received a Remicade booster, but the drug didn’t stand a chance. A few weeks later, a colonoscopy and endoscopy revealed that Scott’s colon was basically gone, Leslie said.

“I can’t see my kid decline anymore,” she told his care team.

Minnesota Gastroenterology referred the family to Pediatric Surgical Associates, where Dr. Bradley Linden met with the family to discuss a colectomy. When they left, they didn’t expect to hear back for a week. In just 48 hours, they learned Scott needed surgery immediately.

On March 17, 2014, Scott underwent an eight-hour surgery to remove his colon. He recovered for four days while learning about living with an ostomy bag before going home. Within 12 hours of being released, Scott was back at Children’s with lower-abdomen pain and needed surgery again to remove a blood clot that lodged in his pelvic cavity that caused his kidneys to stop functioning.

Scott's sisters wore ostomy bags in support of their brother.

Scott’s sisters wore ostomy bags in support of their brother.

“He was a hot mess,” Leslie said.

So was she. Her son was in extreme pain. “I had a few ‘Terms of Endearment’ moments,” she said.

When Scott went back home, he was still in hell. He experienced withdrawal effects from no longer being on pain medication. He was angry and had cramps and the shakes, Leslie said.

By summer, he was doing better. He lifted weights with his teammates. He ran. He returned to the ice.

“He made sure he was going to have a normal life, as normal a life he could have with that stupid bag,” Leslie said.

In July, he underwent another procedure for a J-pouch, an internal pouch formed of the small intestine. It stores stool when there isn’t a large intestine.

Scott wears No. 27 for the Stars.

Scott wears No. 27 for the Stars.

By October the bag was removed and J-pouch connected. Scott’s drive, combined with the care and encouragement of the health care team, miraculously put him back in a high school hockey game for the Stars on Nov. 11 after spending 55 days in the hospital in 2014. Thankfully, and unlike last year, he was able to spend the holidays being comfortable and at home.

“Truly by the grace of God, he’s getting through it,” Leslie said.

Brady Gervais is an annual giving officer for the foundation at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.

Minnesota boy adopted from China born with ‘beautifully created, imperfect heart’

Tovin Kainz, 4, was born with tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart defect. (Photos by Kyleen Olson Photography)

Tovin Kainz, 4, was born with tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart defect. (Photos by Kyleen Olson Photography)

Brady Gervais

Tovin Kainz’s Chinese zodiac sign is a tiger, a sign of strength.

Born in China with a complicated congenital heart defect, strength is a trait he has demonstrated time and again. He was 3 before he was adopted and a medical team could start repairing his heart.

“Tovin has been extremely brave and courageous throughout his life’s journey; he hasn’t let his medical condition slow him down one bit. He continues to fight and never gives up!” his mom, Jennifer Kainz, of Tracy, Minn., said. “He has taught our family about being strong, both mentally and physically.”

Tovin wasn't operated on until he was adopted at age 3.

Tovin wasn’t operated on until he was adopted at age 3.

When Jason and Jennifer Kainz were preapproved to adopt Tovin, they were aware of his heart defect, tetralogy of Fallot. Unfazed by the diagnosis, they were determined to bring Tovin home to Minnesota and get him the care he needed.

“We went into the special-needs-adoption program knowing that the children on this list needed not only a family but also medical help,” Jennifer said. “Jason and I strongly believe that every child deserves a chance at life. Everyone has something medically wrong with them, but our medical conditions don’t define us.”

Whatever Tovin’s heart condition turned out to be, Jason and Jennifer knew that an amazing medical team was just more than two hours away from their home, waiting to figure out Tovin’s “beautifully created, imperfect heart,” she said. They trusted God, they said, and knew that the medical team would have the knowledge it needed to help Tovin survive this bump on the road of his life.

What Jason and Jennifer didn’t know was that Tovin’s heart condition was worse than originally expected. This sometimes happens when children with a medical condition are adopted outside of the United States, said Tovin’s cardiologist, Dr. Rodrigo Rios. The diagnosis ends up being better or worse than initially thought.

After arriving in the U.S., one of Tovin’s first stops was meeting Dr. Rios at Children’s Heart Clinic. There, tests revealed that Tovin’s heart was on the right (incorrect) side of his body, had L-transposition of the great vessels; pulmonary atresia; a ventricular septal defect; nonconfluent pulmonary arteries and a right aortic arch.

Tovin took his first assisted steps at Children’s after his first heart surgery.

Tovin took his first assisted steps at Children’s after his first heart surgery.

In other words, “he was quite sick,” Rios said. Tovin’s body was blue, a symptom of his heart disease.

A child with Tovin’s condition is frequently diagnosed prior to birth, and surgery to start repairing the heart usually is performed soon after birth, Rios said. Every surgery carries risk, and the optimal time to perform it is when the patient is healthiest and strongest.

Because Tovin was older and already had been living with his condition for three years, he wasn’t as healthy as he would have been at just a few months of age.

But Tovin is strong. He underwent his first surgery soon after arriving in the U.S. and quickly showed signs of major improvement, Rios said.

This past fall, Tovin, 4, underwent his second surgery and was back home recovering just a few days later. It’s anticipated Tovin will have another surgery when he’s older to fully repair his heart. For now, he sees Dr. Rios every six months for checkups.

Tovin lives in southwestern Minnesota with his family.

Tovin lives in southwestern Minnesota with his family.

Dr. Rios said it has been exciting to play a role in Tovin’s care because of the drastic improvement he has made.

“He’s a kid with such a tremendous personality that you just fall in love with him immediately,” Rios said.

Since Tovin arrived in Minnesota — two years ago this month — he has come a long way. When he was adopted, his development was delayed. Tovin wasn’t able to crawl, walk or verbally communicate with his family, Jennifer said.

He took his first assisted steps at Children’s after his first heart surgery, and he has made huge strides since with the help of physical and occupational therapy. Thanks to speech therapy, he has a full vocabulary today.

Tovin loves to be adventurous, farm with his uncle and grandpa and play with his tractors, Legos and trains, Jennifer said. He takes full advantage of living in rural Minnesota. He’s always on the go and defiantly doesn’t sit idly.

“Tovin will limit himself before his heart limits him,” Dr. Rios told Tovin’s parents.

subscribe_blogThe Kainz family has found ways to stay connected to Children’s outside of the hospital. In 2013, Tovin, his older sister, Addison, 6, and his parents donned superhero capes and participated in HeartBeat 5000. Jennifer hopes to run one of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon weekend events on behalf of Children’s in October, too.

Getting involved is their way of thanking Children’s for the care Tovin has received.

“We have so much respect for every staff member we’ve worked with at Children’s and are very thankful for the love that each team member has given to Tovin,” Jennifer said. “They’re some of his biggest cheerleaders on his road to becoming the active 4-year-old boy that he is meant to be.”

Tovin's family said he has made huge strides since coming to the U.S.

Tovin’s family said he has made huge strides since coming to the U.S.

Brady Gervais is an annual giving officer for the foundation at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.

Iron Range boy beats heart problem

Tyler LaMourea, 10, plays football, hockey and baseball. (Photos courtesy of Tara LaMourea)

Tyler LaMourea, 10, plays football, hockey and baseball. (Photos courtesy of Tara LaMourea)

Tara LaMourea

My son, Tyler LaMourea, was diagnosed with tachycardia, a faster-than-normal resting heartbeat, when he was 6 years old. When he sat at home or school, his heart suddenly went from a normal beat pattern of 65 beats per minute to 230.

Tyler could feel his heart rate change from normal to racing. He never got dizzy or fainted, but he would get pale and feel exhausted. There are things that can be done to convert a heart rate back to normal, but they never worked for Tyler. Each time he had an episode his heart rate would climb higher and remain rapid for longer periods of time.

Tyler and his nurses

Tyler and his nurses

One day, I received a call from his school’s nurse and brought him to the hospital’s emergency room, where he would get an electrocardiogram (EKG), electroencephalogram (EEG) and blood work to make sure there was nothing else abnormal. Tyler’s highest recorded heart rate was 230 beats per minute for 2½ hours before it converted on its own. We were in the emergency room when I saw a monitor go from 230 beats a minute to 175 to 65 within three beats.

On Nov. 3, 2014, Tyler, now 10, had surgery at Children’s Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota’s Minneapolis hospital. When we got to the hospital, Tyler was nervous about the surgery — we all were — but all of the people we encountered were nothing short of wonderful, from the receptionist that did our paperwork to the nurses and doctors that took care of Tyler. One of the nurses came into Tyler’s room with the items he was to wear, and in her other hand were two blankets that are donated to Children’s from which he got to choose. Tyler was shocked that he got to keep the blanket. He said the blanket was special to him and he felt better knowing it was in the operating room with him and when he woke up he had it; it was one of the sweetest things to hear from him.

When it was time for Tyler to go to surgery, as parents, my husband, Jeremy, and I were able to go into the operating room with him before it began. Once he started to fall asleep, we left and the team inserted Tyler’s IV.

subscribe_blogWe were in the waiting area, and the nurse who was in surgery with Tyler would call us to provide updates during the 2½-hour procedure. When the nurse called for the last time, she said they were able to find the nerve that caused the issue and cauterized it. To confirm the surgery was successful, the team was unable to replicate Tyler’s rapid heart rate once the nerve was cauterized, which was a relief to us.

The doctor came in to talk with Jeremy and me about the procedure and what to expect in Tyler’s recovery. We live on the Iron Range, 3½ hours from Children’s – Minneapolis, and were concerned about Tyler traveling that far. We were assured that he was going to be OK as long as he lies flat for a few hours after surgery to get the incisions to close. We got into the room after Tyler woke up and explained to him that he had to lie flat. He was excited there was a Nintendo Gamecube in the room for him to use, so he was in good shape to lie down.

We made the journey safely home, and Tyler had to rest for a few days before resuming normal activities. He’s an active boy who plays football, hockey and baseball. His surgery took place at the start of hockey, and he missed four days of practice before he returned to playing. He was sore for about two weeks, but he would say, “It isn’t too bad.”

Tyler returned to hockey after heart surgery.

Tyler returned to hockey after heart surgery.

Nearly three months after surgery, you would never know Tyler had anything done or there ever was a problem. Children’s was the best experience for which we could have asked. Everyone we encountered that day was so supportive and courteous to us. We will never forget the great experience we had as well as how great they were to Tyler before and after his surgery. We all are grateful to everyone at Children’s and couldn’t have asked for anything more. Thank you to the staff at Children’s who help make a stressful situation for families into a positive experience.

From hopelessness to triumph: Eliana’s battle with chronic pain

Eliana, shown here in June 2014, was diagnosed with chronic pain disorder. (Photos courtesy of Cami Vogt)

Eliana, shown here in June 2014, was diagnosed with chronic pain disorder. (Photos courtesy of Cami Vogt)

Cami Vogt

Our story is not one of acute trauma or even an emergency. For some it may seem less than dramatic. But we hope our story will give courage and hope to all those other parents who cope with chronic illness in their child.

Our story is of a long journey; it tells of the amazing fortitude of one little girl, the perseverance of her siblings and the compassionate and enduring care of a team of experts.

Eliana, 8, visited Kavita Desai, Ph.D, on Jan. 21, 2015, at the Kiran Stordalen and Horst Rechelbacher Pediatric Pain, Palliative and Integrative Medicine Clinic.

Eliana, 8, visits Kavita Desai, Ph.D, on Jan. 21, 2015, at the Kiran Stordalen and Horst Rechelbacher Pediatric Pain, Palliative and Integrative Medicine Clinic.

We came to the pain and palliative care clinic at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota in January 2013 after two lonely and frustrating years of trying to find out the source of our little girl’s pain.

Eliana, then 6 years old, suffered almost constantly from severe headaches, stomach pain, deep body aches, chest pain and debilitating fatigue. We sought out every specialist we could think of, but there were no answers, and no freedom from her suffering. When our neurologist at Children’s, Elizabeth Gilles, MD, gave us the opportunity to consider this unique and groundbreaking clinic, we were skeptical. We had tried so much and were so tired. But we knew we had to try — for Eliana.

And so we found hope. That hope came from a team of experts who were willing to rally around not just Eliana, but our entire family. They showed us that they understood that chronic pain affects the entire family, not just the child. They validated her pain, our experiences and fears. They also gave us a diagnosis: chronic pain disorder.

Eliana continues to battle chronic pain and improve.

Eliana continues to battle chronic pain and improve.

But most of all, they showed us the effectiveness of what a team of specialists in pediatric pain could accomplish. At any one time, we may have up to five people from the team working with us. That lonely feeling of the past is gone; it’s amazing how much stronger you can be when you’re not alone.

We still are on this journey. Eliana has turned two whole years older since we first arrived at the clinic, which celebrated the grand opening of its new space this month. She has worked so hard and gotten so much better. But chronic pain in children is complicated and requires perseverance. The true hero in this story is our Eliana Faith, and we stand in awe of her fortitude.

None of this would have been possible without her amazing pain team at the Kiran Stordalen and Horst Rechelbacher Pediatric Pain, Palliative and Integrative Medicine Clinic. We are indebted to Stefan Friedrichsdorf, MDKavita Desai, Ph.D; physical therapist Andrew Warmuth, nurse Donna Eull, massage therapist Candace Linares, social worker Cindy Daughtry and receptionist Alison McQuade (our first line of defense!).

Thank you for believing in us, for partnering with us and for giving us hope. Let the journey continue — together!

__________

About the Kiran Stordalen and Horst Rechelbacher Pediatric Pain, Palliative and Integrative Medicine Clinic at Children’s – Minneapolis

Pain of any kind not only is disruptive to the life of a child, but also to the child’s family. Children’s has the largest, longest-running pain and palliative and integrative medicine program in North America. Children’s combines the best and most-appropriate pain medicines with the best integrative therapies (like massage, aroma therapy and biofeedback) to help alleviate kids’ pain. The pain clinic is made up of a diverse group of providers, including doctors, nurses, physical and massage therapists, psychologists and social workers – all of whom rally around children and their families so they can heal.

Mom grateful for Children’s care before, after daughter’s double lung transplant

Janice Eason and her daughter, Kali, 8 (Photos courtesy of Janice Eason)

Janice Eason and her daughter, Kali, 8 (Photos courtesy of Janice Eason)

Janice Eason

My dreams came true 8½ years ago when I became a mother to Kali Grace, the most beautiful baby girl. But little did I know how many people I would need to keep my dreams alive.

My water broke at 22 weeks, and Kali had to be delivered at 24 weeks. She came into this world weighing 680 grams, less than 1½ pounds, and with underdeveloped lungs. Before I could even see her, she was whisked away to the neonatal intensive care unit at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, where she would spend the first eight months of her life.

Kali's baptism

Kali’s baptism

Kali was always one of the most critical patients on the unit and liked to keep all of her doctors, nurses and therapists on their toes to be sure they could handle anything. Her team did handle everything and more that Kali gave them. She was cared for greatly, and everything was done to be sure Kali was always getting what she needed. And her team always made sure that as her mother I was heard.

I was told that Kali would need to go home for hospice care if she didn’t receive a double lung transplant. We found a transplant center in Houston to perform the difficult surgery do the transplant. After a delicate recovery period, we came back home just after Kali celebrated her first birthday.

While there were other hospitals, doctors and nurses that helped care for Kali, Children’s, including the team at the Kiran Stordalen and Horst Rechelbacher Pediatric Pain, Palliative and Integrative Medicine Clinic, always has been the place where we received the best and greatest care.

Kali at Children's

Kali at Children’s

Kali is 8 now, but we have never been far from Children’s. We’re here multiple times a month for appointments and have a few hospital stays a year dealing with Kali’s ongoing conditions.

The Children’s staff have made Kali feel so comfortable with all she has to deal with in her life, and she loves everyone at the hospital who cares for her. I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful place to call our second home that is able to make my child feel like such a normal girl given all of her circumstances. We forever will be thankful to everyone who makes Children’s such an amazing place.

Kali continues to visit Children's for checkups on a regular basis.

Kali continues to visit Children’s for checkups on a regular basis.

Introducing new podcast, ‘Children’s Pedcast’

Starting today, we’re happy to share with you our new podcast, “Children’s Pedcast,” a conversation about pediatrics.

subscribe_blog“Children’s Pedcast” — “Pedcast” for short — is a weekly podcast by Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota about pediatric health information, issues and concerns, featuring guests made up of experts from Children’s, The Mother Baby Center, Midwest Fetal Care Center and other individuals connected to Children’s, including doctors, nurses, other health care experts, patients and patient families.

The show is conversational and loose with a goal of providing information and an enjoyable, entertaining listener experience.

A new episode is available for download each Monday and can be heard on iTunes, Podbean, StitcherYouTube, Vimeo, all of Children’s social media channels and everywhere podcasts are available.

Meet Madeline

Madeline

What Madeline loves most about Children’s is that they care for her.

When exploring the impact of supporting a child’s tomorrow, we went straight to the source: our patients. We asked several to share how Children’s has played a role in their life today, and what they look forward to in their tomorrow. This is what we learned.

Q4_mighty_buttonName: Madeline

Age: 7

Hometown: Elk River

Madeline has received care from Children’s for heart surgery and C. difficile, a bacterial infection.

When Madeline grows up, she wants to be a house designer and build a house for her parents.

What Madeline loves most about Children’s is that they care for her.

Meet Aden

Aden

What Aden loves about Children’s is his nurse, Linda, who he says is “the best nurse in the nurse history!”

When exploring the impact of supporting a child’s tomorrow, we went straight to the source: our patients. We asked several to share how Children’s has played a role in their life today, and what they look forward to in their tomorrow. This is what we learned.

Q4_mighty_buttonName: Aden

Age: 8

Hometown: Eagan

Aden came to Children’s due to inflammation on his pancreas. He had a cyst removed from his bile duct.

When Aden grows up, he wants to be a doctor because he enjoys school.

What Aden loves about Children’s is his nurse, Linda, who he says is “the best nurse in the nurse history!”

Making of “Meet Abbey, future ballerina”

We get to work with amazing kids like Abbey every day at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. And each one has a dream that’s worth reaching.

The concept of the “Give today. Support tomorrows.” fundraising campaign is built on the spirit that every child has the chance to realize his or her hopes and dreams.

Take a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the commercial featuring Abbey, the future ballerina, and her family.

You can help our kids get to “when I grow up.” Give today. Support tomorrows.

Making of “Meet Abbey, future ballerina” from Children’s of Minnesota on Vimeo.

30-second commercial:

Meet Abbey, future ballerina from Children’s of Minnesota on Vimeo.